Agriculture

Applications Open for Iowa Farm Bureau’s Grow Your Future Award

Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF), the state’s largest grassroots farm organization, encourages young farmer entrepreneurs between 18-35 years old with an ag-related business to enter the Grow Your Future Award for a chance to win $10,000. This competition is focused on Farm Bureau members with unique business ventures that tap into niche production, agritourism and other specialty services.

“Our IFBF young farmer committee understands obstacles to farming and the need to diversify to break into agriculture and helped develop this program to recognize creative new businesses,” said Amanda Van Steenwyk, Iowa Farm Bureau’s farm business development manager. We recognize the challenges that come with entrepreneurism and efforts to bring additional income to the farm, and this award is just one way we can help young farmers grow their businesses.”

Interested entrepreneurs should apply at www.iowafarmbureau.com/growyourfuture by Sept. 1. A panel of judges will select up to six finalists to send to the online public vote.  The public vote will narrow the finalists to three. The top three finalists will compete in a live pitch-off during the 2025 Iowa Farm Bureau Young Farmer Conference on Jan. 17, 2025. Winners will be announced Jan 18.

First, second and third place finalists will receive $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. Last year’s Grow Your Future Award winner grows more than 40 different crops in addition to raising meat birds and plans to use her winnings to expand direct-to-consumer marketing and farmers market presence.

In addition to the Grow Your Future Award, Iowa Farm Bureau has a rich history of supporting rural entrepreneurs in the journey.  IFBF’s Renew Rural Iowa program has mentored nearly 4,000 rural entrepreneurs and business owners while creating more than $150 million in economic impact for rural Iowa communities,” says Iowa Farm Bureau President Brent Johnson.  “The Grow Your Future Award is just one more way to highlight innovation in agriculture and support young, rural entrepreneurs. The crop of applicants are always diverse and impressive, and it’s exciting to see these young farmers’ willingness to explore new opportunities in farming that make Iowa agriculture and our rural communities even stronger.”

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